Archive for August, 2012

The Man Who Found a Well in his Living Room

August 31, 2012

Perhap you remember a post I wrote last year when Sugar and I went in search of history and she-crab soup. We saw a well INSIDE a building.

If you’ve been reading the blog AT ALL during the last several months, you will know that I have become drawn to all things British.  So now, I give you, by re-pressing this story…

The Man Who Found a Well in his Living Room.

Get a New Toy

August 29, 2012

Gerald the Cat, who lives at the grooming business with his friends Errol the Feral and Car E., loves water.  He simply loves water, or at least that’s the way it seems.

There are two water bowls available at all times, and the water level would mysteriously drop in both bowls, and the floor around the bowls would be wet.  And not just a little wet.  It looked like both bowls were standing in a puddle.  Gerald would be standing off to the side of the bowls when you enter the room, and his little paws would be soaked.

Sometimes you can hear him in the resident cat room, splashing away in the bowl.  One day he got into another bowl when he and the other cats were given free reign of the building.  He got into that big white porcelain bowl that is usually used for other purposes.

You know what I mean.

I wondered if we could distract his water fetish by providing him with other toys.  I fetched a tabletop fountain from the loft in the shed.  I’d had it for a few years after the BabyGirl gave it to me, but I really had no where to use it, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity.

The little fountain on the countertop. The cats pace inside their room.


Who inspects the fountain first? Not Gerald.


Who is the least interested? Car E. Of course. It’s not food.


Then Gerald steps up.







Gerald: “Ommm. Ommm. Ommm.”


Welcome to Cat Zen.

I wonder what will happen when I add the river rocks?

A Walk in the Cemetery at Laurel Grove

August 24, 2012

On June 17, 2012, Sugar and I made a trip to Savannah to visit some of his dead relatives.  (It’s been reported to me that there are some Rawls folks hereabouts, but I’ve never met any of them.)  You can read more about our cemetery escapades here on that day, unless you get creeped out by pictures of the inside of a mausoleum.  Then don’t click the link.  I dare you to not click. the. link.

Ah.  Well then, that’s that.

So after tootling about the mausoleum grounds, and Sugar picking out a spot for his future demise (how’s THAT for a Sunday outing?), we drove a bit further, then got out and walked around to admire another mausoleum.


Sugar said that his mother knew some Claghorns where he grew up nearby.  Isn’t that the way we all do it?  We see a name, or something triggers a memory, and we announce it out loud, kind of like when you were three and you announced your bathroom visits.  Not that we were planning on peeing in the graveyard (“I’ve got to go pee now!”), but rather we announce something with the unabashed statement of a child, a bit of wonderment, a call out to the big universe that we are here and we have something to say, if anyone cares or not.

Sugar points out something about the detail on the doorway while he’s talking, but I’m way too far away to hear what he’s saying. That man always has something to say. He’ll probably tell me again later.

I’m always surprised at the detail in the photos I make. The color and clarity are intensified and better appreciated inside in the air-conditioning.

There’s a Confederate veteran buried here. See the marker?

The backside of the Claghorn mausoleum.

And looking to your right from this vantage point, there are several raised tombs.

Oops. I didn’t do that.

And the detail over the gateway…

Then we walked a bit further, and came to a Confederate plot that was being refurbished.

The outlines of the plot are being reworked.

I walked on over and started to take photos, and Sugar looked alarmed and asked if I was going to take pictures of ALL of the headstones, which was my cue that he probably needed food and/or to get in out of the heat.  So, sorry, Confederates, here’s only a few of you…

Isaac H. Mathews
Sept. 10, 1918
71 years

S. C. Stewart
July 16, 1918
Age 75 years

Then across the way I saw this, and it looked important somehow.

And yet closer…

























And then we really did have to move along and go find some food, because Sugar was “growing faint with hunger”, and if we hadn’t left then, there might have been another dead body in the cemetery.

I suppose it might be a good thing he had already picked out a spot…

How Far Is Too Far?

August 24, 2012

How far is too far to go?

I’m not talking about things of a PG-13 nature.  I’m talking about this:  how do you know how far you will go in a given situation?

On July 30, 2012, I received an email from someone who knew someone who needed help with a cat.  It’s that age-old story about a cat that just appears on someone’s porch.  And she’s a nice cat, so they feed her and give her shelter.  She returns their good actions by presenting them with a batch of kittens.

That’s usually how it starts with a stray cat.  I’ve heard it over and over again from my several jobs in the animal care industry.  They just show up.  Usually it’s a female, and, if she’s not pregnant, she’s soon to be, because cats just go into heat, oh, seems like all the time, which in actuality could be 2, 3, or even 4 times a year.

So the email, from the persons that I’ll call The Intermediate Couple, told of a family in a neighboring county that had a cat they couldn’t keep.  The cat had given birth in the spring, and so of course was pregnant again, and the family couldn’t afford to spay her, and didn’t want to keep her.

I replied that if the female were spayed, couldn’t they keep her?  Every animal shelter and rescue is overrun with cute kittens for adoptions, and it’s difficult for an adult to be adopted, because who can resist a cute kitten?  (And if you write a blog, just post cute kitten pictures and watch your hits go up.  Not that I would EVER do that.)

The Intermediate Couple replied that they would approach the family about keeping the female after she had been spayed.

And The Intermediate Couple and I went back and forth with email correspondence setting up the particulars, like if I could get financial support for the surgeries for the mother and her three boy cattens, and how to arrange transportation.  Because of extenuating circumstances, it looked like I would need to drive to the next county and pick up the cats, house them until their surgical date, then house them again after surgery, then return them home.

Sugar weighed in.  “That’s too far to go.  Someone else needs to do it.”

Thank you, Sugar.  Love. You.

He argued about all the reasons that I couldn’t do it, and I argued about all the reasons that I could.  I generally have Friday afternoons off, so I could drive out then to pick up, and then to deliver the following Friday.  I could keep them in big crates in the shed for their safety, because I can’t have intact males and females wandering about here at the Swamped! Plantation & Rawlsbury Camp.

So the long version of an even longer tale is that is exactly what I did.  At first, I thought that I would bring all 4 cats here, house them, take them for surgery, re-house them, and return them, all in the space of one week.  I realized that I was out of my mind, for no good deed generally goes unpunished, and I would have to break it down to two cats at a time, which would lengthen the time that it would take to complete this project.

So with scrawled directions on a scrap of paper (remember paper?), I made my way to the next county to meet the newest project.  It was 43.3 miles one way, door-to-door.  I picked up the mother cat and the biggest boy.  It did not work to crate them here, not even in the shed, for ants got into the food.  Sugar said to take them to the grooming business and house them there.  I knew he’d help, even without me asking.

Was that too far to go?  It involved three trips to pick-up and return, for the family had decided to keep all four cats.

Here’s the best part:  The Intermediate Couple donated money to my PayPal account to cover the cost of the surgeries, and a little bonus for me, which I’ll donate to the grooming business.

So the cats get to stay in their home, the family gets to enjoy the cats that are now speutered and vaccinated, The Intermediate Couple gets good karma for a good deed, and I got in a little side trip to the Robert (Roe-BARE) Cemetery.

Was that too far to go?  And how do you know unless you try?

(And thanks to reader Linda who planted the seed of this story with The Intermediate Couple!)

Leonard, the Son of Biggie Shell, 1912-1939

August 19, 2012

I’ll admit it.  I still worry about Biggie Shell, and the family he left behind.  So today, after errands were accomplished, however haphazard, I sat down with my trusty friend, Mr. Computer, so that we could have a confab, and talk about Biggie Shell.

Do you ever think that some families are just plain cursed? 

I went to, and did another search for one of Biggie and Lena’s children.  I started, randomly, with Ethel Shell.  I scanned down the list of likely prospects, and saw a listing for *Leonard* Shell.  That’s Ethel’s brother.  It was his death record.  AHA!  Now we’re on to something.

I clicked on the link, and it took me to a list of particulars about Leonard, like he was 26 years old when he died, and he lived in Chattanooga, but he died in Nashville.  Twenty-six?  That sounds young.  Maybe he was a veteran and he was sent to a veteran’s hospital in Nashville, although he was too young to have been in World War I. 

When I clicked on the link to view the actual image, I’ll admit that I’ve never come across this type of record before.  Leonard was in the state penitentiary.

And he died of a stab wound in the back which severed his pulmonary artery and lung. 

Was his mother Lena horrified about this?  I know I am.  Or was she so worn out that she was numb?

Thoughts, anyone?

Left-click on the image to enlarge.


Jackie Loves the Telephone

August 18, 2012

Jackie: “Strangely, I feel an affection for this inanimate object.”

Jackie: “Meanwhile, will someone please pull Big Fatty out from under the furniture and tell him the storm has passed over?”

The Robert Cemetery – Part Three

August 18, 2012

Here’s some random photos of the remainder of the cemetery, because honestly, people, there are 69 photos left.  It seems more important to get them online now and then to edit them later.  Also, here’s a link to a transcription page that was made in 1999 – click here.

The Robert Cemetery in Robertville, SC – Part Two

August 17, 2012

More cemetery goodness awaits.

In Memory Of
Mrs. Cornelia Emily Riley
consort of Dr. Edward Riley
born Dec. 12, 1815
died Oct. 27, 1839

(Oh.  I apologize for my feet in the photo.  I couldn’t straddle this tomb, so I tried standing to one side and randomly holding the camera over the tomb, and this is what you get.  I suppose I could have cropped my feet out, but the photo angle is all wonky anyway, so.  Whatever.)


Relict of the late John H. Robert
Born 2 Nov. 1780 Died 30th Oct. 1852.
She was a worthy member of the
Baptist Church for many years
Previous to her death & died trusting
Her everlasting redemption to the
Mercy of her Saviour.
Bright be her resting place.
She was a most self-sacrificing
& devoted Mother. All her own
Comforts, pleasures, & enjoyments were
Never considered or thought of by
Her when they conflicted in the
Least with those of her children.
The recollection of the nobleness
Of her soul & the truthfulness
Her unerring heart shall live
Sacred in memory
Tho’ the curtains of death be drawn
Around her & the portal of the
Tomb be closed.
This small tribute of love & reverence
Is raised as a memorial of
Her worth.

The left side of a smaller monument.

BORN JUNE 13, 1822.
DIED MAY 31, 1897.

Our darling.
On Earth.
Oh! God,
Unite us in the
Spirit Land.
Our Hearts lie
Buried here.

To the Memory of
Son of
John H. and Catherine
E. Robert.
Born July 22nd, 1876.
Died January 6th, 1886.
Aged 9 years 5 Mo’s and 15 Days.

John Robert

John Robert
of Blackswamp So. Ca.
who departed this life
24th February 1826
aged 83 years.
He was born on Santee S.C. in July
1742, but for many years has been a 
respectable Citizen of Blackswamp
& one of the pillars of the Baptist
Church of that place, of which 
he became a Member in 1789
of which he was also a Deacon
for a long time previous to his death.
He has left a large Family
to represent him & to
mourn his loss.

This view shows the other side of the marker in the previous photo, and the footstone “J. R. 1826”, for John Robert, died 1826.

This next marker was just about impossible to photograph.  There was a metal fence support directly in front of the writing, and the swirled colors of the stone really make for some complicated reading.  This is for Mrs. Elizabeth Robert, consort of John Robert.

And here’s the last one of the evening, Thomas Smith Robert, 4th child of John Robert and Elizabeth Dixon Robert, died March 6th, 1816, aged 39 years…

Remember man as you pass by,

As you are now, so once was I,

As I am now, so you must be,

Prepare to die and follow me.

The Robert Cemetery in Robertville, SC

August 13, 2012

On Friday, August 9, 2012, I was transporting a mother cat and one of her kittens back to their home.  That’s a long story, so I’ll try to make it short.  A family in the next county needed help transporting their mother cat and three kittens to the spay/neuter clinic.  I agreed to transport two at a time.  I was returning the mother and the biggest kitten, and was pootling along in the car, when I saw a road sign that looked familiar.  Suddenly I realized that the sign was for the road where the Robert (Roe-BARE) Cemetery was located.  That meant a side trip was in order.

After dropping off the cats, I headed back to the Robert Cemetery.

First I turned here.

Then I turned here.

And almost immediately on the right is the cemetery.

Sugar and I visited this rural cemetery once before.  Before that, we looked for it but couldn’t find it.  We finally found it when we went looking at a time of the year when the foliage was less dense, and Sugar spotted a tall monument gleaming beyond the trees.  (He’s a good spotter.  He spotted a box turtle today on Main Street, and we scooped it up and took it to a safer place.)

I started taking photos on the far left of this entrance and worked my way through the entire cemetery.  It was early afternoon, and the day was muggy and humid.  This cemetery has been maintained for the last year by a group of folks who contributed money for the cause.

This cemetery has grave markers that are headstones and footstones.  Some of the headstones have inscriptions on the side facing away from the grave.  I’ve seen this arrangement before in other old cemeteries, and it always leaves me a bit discombobulated, because I’m not exactly sure where the caskets are buried, and I certainly don’t want to walk on a grave.

Robert Lewis and Peter Lewis share a common headstone. Robert’s footstone is on the left and Peter’s footstone is on the right.

Robert Lewis

Peter Lewis

Robert and Peter Lewis’s headstone.

Robert Lewis

In Memory of


who died

in Robertville, S. C.

Sept. 8, 1825 in his 30th year

A native of Liverpool, Eng.

Peter Lewis



who died

in Robertville, S. C.

Sep. 22, 1825

in his 31st year

How swiftly pass our years,

How soon their night comes on.

A train of hopes and fears,

And human life is gone.

M. E. H.
Mary Earl
hoe monumentum eri
gitur cara filia e bery
amun et Julia M Holt
que infantia reliquit
hume mundum doloris
et marentes parentis et
regiontus felecilatis at
angeli abut
Estates – XVII menses el
XXIX dies

Richard Franklin Bostick
Isabella Robert
the former aged 20 years and 6 months
the latter 17 years, 9 months, 10 days
both perished at sea on Steamer Home
on passage from New York to Charleston
Oct. 9, 1837
Their bodies were recovered from the wreck

The Robert Monument

Here’s the tall marker that Sugar saw through the trees.  These gravestones are only a fraction of the markers in this cemetery. 

To be continued…

The Dog in the Road

August 11, 2012

Yesterday morning I saw a dead dog in the road.  I was driving along to work, and wasn’t very far from home, and wasn’t even yet on the main highway.  I didn’t stop and move his body because I thought his owner would be out driving around looking for him, and would discover him there, and so would have resolution to what happened to his dog. 

Friday is a short workday for me.  I finished by 10AM and headed back home with two kittens in crates that I would take back to their owners.  (I was doing a good deed, and transporting kittens to be spayed and neutered, and then back home, which is another short story in itself.) 

The dog was still in the same spot.  I slowed down, and pulled off on the shoulder, and turned on the emergency flashers.  The car behind me drove around the dog and kept going. 

I walked over to the dog.  He was a fully grown, intact male pit bull, wearing a collar without identification.  He was probably out roaming, looking for a girlfriend, and I’d guess he previously had probably been tied out and had broken free.  I dragged him out of the middle of the road and kept pulling him until he was way off the shoulder near the ditch.  That way, I thought logically, if his owner drives by, he can see the dog’s body.  I considered bagging his body and taking him to the shelter, where they would dispose of him, but my little car was full with the two kittens in crates and I’d have to backtrack to get to the shelter.  So I left him there and went on home.

Soon I headed out to return the kittens to their home about 45 miles away, and before I got to where the dog’s body was, I saw the buzzards.  The buzzards had found him before his owner had. 

A crappy ending to a crappy life.